Director Guillermo Del Toro’s giant-robots-versus-giant-monsters sci-fi action epic Pacific Rim won’t stomp into theaters until July 12. But the film’s backers already see franchise potential — so much so that a sequel was greenlit before the movie was finished. After the first screening, Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull immediately told del Toro to start writing a follow-up. ”He said, ‘Do you think you can come up with a great idea?’ ” del Toro remembers. ”I said, ‘F—, yeah!’ ”
While Pacific Rim is a souped-up homage to classic monster movies like Godzilla, the director says the sequel won’t simply introduce a new oversize enemy. ”[With the old movies] it was Godzilla versus so-and-so, and that was all you needed to know,” he says. Instead, del Toro and co-writer Travis Beacham plan to delve deeper into the alien forces behind the kaiju (Japanese for ”giant monsters”), who in the first film invade Earth through a breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, only to be met by a last stand of human defenders (including Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam). ”They’re a race of blind consumers grabbing planets, consuming them, and moving to the next,” says del Toro. ”The idea [with the sequel] is to explore a little bit of that.” Don’t hold your breath for the next installment to be ready soon, though. ”It’ll take us at least two years to develop the script,” del Toro says. These summer tentpole movies are real beasts to put together.